George Rockett, CEO is joined by Dr Ayotunde Coker, CEO and MD of Rack Centre to discuss data center operations in Nigeria. Dr Coker has more than 30 years industry international experience across Europe, USA, Asia and most recently, Africa.

In this instalment of DCD>Talks, Dr Coker talks to us about what's happening in the data center ecosystem in Nigeria, and indeed across the African continent. George and Dr Coker discuss why Nigeria is becoming a data center hotspot for the region, and what role Rack Centre has to play in this growth.

Rack Centre in 2020

Rack Centre currently has a campus based in Lagos, Nigeria that occupies roughly 20,000sqm (5 acres). Based on modular technology, the campus commenced operations in 2013 and originally ran on 375 kilowatts of power. In 2016 this capacity was doubled to 750 kilowatts which served Nigeria and the wider African commodity market. Dr Coker and his team have positioned Rack Centre as the premier carrier, cloud and vendor neutral provider in the region.

The focus for Dr Coker and the business over time has not been just to scale, but to also build a wider ecosystem that can serve a rapidly evolving market. This has become a strong ecosystem over time, supplemented by a cloud-neutral marketplace. Vendor neutrality also offers a unique value proposition for the region since managed service providers are not threatened by competing services. Rack Centre has evolved rapidly, winning a number of prestigious Global Awards and Uptime Institute certifications in recent years. Despite a challenging utility power infrastructure environment, the company has operated since launch with 100% uptime.

A gateway to the rest of Africa

Dr Coker says that Rack Centre has built its strength by being carrier neutral and by demonstrating a passion for excellence and customer service. Being carrier neutral, every major undersea cable serving the Atlantic coast of Africa, and therefore every country on the coast, is directly connected to Rack Centre which has a unique geophysical location that has the potential to halve latency from South Africa to other major regions, efficiently connecting Africa to the world.

Dr Coker and his team have built a strong respected brand with global recognition. Nigeria is exhibiting very interesting and compelling growth dynamics that will propel data center scale; Internet users of 150 million at November 2020, a significant growth from 128 million at the end of 2019, rapidly growing broadband penetration at 45 per cent and a rapid trajectory to 70 per cent, with impressive mobile teledensity.

Through building connection points across the African continent, Rack Centre positions itself as a premier provider for a number of services across a data center portfolio. Dr Coker says Rack Centre offers clients the ability to see the entire ecosystem and connect with networks across multiple locations. The levels of interconnectivity in the systems Rack Centre operate make their presence in Nigeria not only impressive, but essential.

Make sure you listen to the full DCD>Talks podcast to hear more from Dr Coker as he explains the rapidly evolving data center market both in Nigeria, and the wider African market.